NFL New England Patriots

5 New England Patriots Who Must Be Kicked To The Curb Before Free Agency

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5 New England Patriots Who Must Be Kicked To The Curb Before Free Agency

New England Patriots
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The New England Patriots are in a tough spot heading into free agency this year. They’re up against the cap with only about $3 million in available money, but they still need some serious upgrades to get themselves back to competing for titles.

One way they can get to where they need to be is to clear some cap space to give them the ammunition they need to go after some free agents this year. Teams often find themselves holding onto players for too long because their fans are sentimental towards them, but if there’s anything that we know the Patriots won’t be squeamish about it’s letting someone go who is no longer worth his cap hit.

New England needs to be carefully aggressive this offseason. Their championship window is closing, so they can’t be afraid to bring players in who can help them right now. They need to try to squeeze one more championship out of Tom Brady, but they won’t be able to do that with the roster as it is right now. They need to get him help at receiver and the defense can always use more pass rush, but these things can be found this year in free agency.

They need some impact free agents, especially on the offensive side of the ball, but they won’t be able to make any big moves unless they free up some cap space. To make that happen the Patriots need to get rid of these five players before free agency begins.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Steve Gregory

Steve Gregory New England Patriots
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Gregory has been a solid backup safety for the Pats the last few years, but heading into free agency he's due to cost the team $3.6 million against the cap. That's borderline too much for even a starting safety, and it's way too much to be paying a gritty backup.

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4. Jake Bequette

Jake Bequette New England Patriots
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This one has nothing to do with cap dollars; it just has to do with a guy who hasn't shown enough to be worth a roster spot moving forward. A third-round pick in 2012, Jake Bequette hasn't been able to get on the field consistently. The Pats need to let him go and give his spot to someone who can contribute.

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3. Isaac Sopoaga

Isaac Sopoaga New England Patriots
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Isaac Sopoaga did a good job stepping up for the team when they were depleted at defensive tackle last season, but he comes with a $3.5 million cap hit next year. The Patriots can save all but $1 million of that if they let him go which they can spend on a better, younger defensive lineman.

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2. Adrian Wilson

Adrian Wilson New England Patriots
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Remember Adrian Wilson? I know, I almost forgot about him too. He was worth the risk when the Patriots brought him in last year, but we know he doesn't have anything left. It will be a shock if he is still on the roster come this summer, so the Patriots should let him go and they would save over $1 million against the cap.

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1. Vince Wilfork

Vince Wilfork New England Patriots
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

This is the tough one. I like Vince Wilfork as much as anyone out there. He's been the best defensive player on the team for a long time now, but you have to look at this one logically. He's a 32-year-old defensive lineman coming off a major lower-body injury, and the Pats can save $8 million against the cap by letting him go. Sorry, but he needs to either drastically renegotiate his deal or be shown the door.